Saturday, August 9, 2008

As Easy as Falling Off a Bike

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Tuesday and Wednesday involved loads and loads of laundry, including the seldom done drapes, curtains, bedspread, etc...vacuuming, sweeping, and steam cleaning the tiled floors (yeah, I got one of those nifty "as seen on TV" doohickeys). About the only thing I didn't touch was windows. I even had a friend over for lunch on one of those days.

So with all the chores out of the way, I had two days to do "me stuff". Like ride my bike. And fall off my bike.

I have several wonderful bruises now to show my ineptitude as a user of new clip in pedals. For two years I have heard people extoll the virtues of these pedals. There are cleats on your bike shoes that lock onto or into these pedals. They make pedalling much more efficient as you can actually pull up on the pedal as well as push down, and that also works out a few other muscles while you're riding. I had a chance to try them out on a stationary bike a couple of weeks ago and was quite impressed. The main fear I (and apparently everyone else) had, was getting out of the pedals when coming to a stop. I have watched the Wookie a couple of times almost tip over when he forgot to unclip at a stop. But I was assured that it was easy to come undone. I even tried to undo myself a few times and realized that it is really easy to unclip. So I bought new bike shoes and the pedals, and had them installed on Wednesday.

The problem is not the unclipping. It is
remembering to unclip that is the problem.

Thursday I got on my bike at the start of a local trail at a fairly early hour, so as to avoid any undue embarrassment if I did fall. After 3 kilometres as I was approaching the end of the trail, and quite proud of myself for not having to stop on the two hills or when I approached a group of army folks on a march, I thought it was a good time to stop and take a drink of water. There was a woman ahead of me and as I came closer to her and slowed down, she turned around and said hello. I was almost at a complete stop and said "Hi" while applying the brakes fully. Apparently, I can't speak, apply brakes and unclip at the same time. The left foot was unclipped but I was leaning to the right...

And ended up lying on my right side, with the bike on top of me. the woman ran around to the right side of me and attempted to help me up, but my right foot was still clipped on to the pedal. I told her to let me get untangled from the bike first and then I could get up. She stood back and I managed to get out from underneath the bike. All of this happened in full view of anyone and everyone who was driving by the entrance to the trail, including an older couple who were approaching the trail for their daily constitutional. They stopped to ask if I was hurt and I slapped my butt and said I was lucky to have padding to protect me. As they carried on their walk, the woman who had attempted to help me asked if I was injured at all. To which I replied, "Only my pride" and we both laughed hysterically.

I told the woman I had deliberately chosen that hour and that trail so as to avoid any witnesses to my inexperience with the new pedals. The best laid plans....

My butt hurts.

On the Cranky Baby side of things, my friend Ed is on his way to a convention in Vegas. I spoke with him yesterday and he asked to take CB with him. I just got word from CB's mom that she can go. So by the end of next week I'll have some new pics of Cranky Baby's road trip to the "strip". What happens in Vegas will definitely not stay in Vegas. This time, anyway.



Diane J Standiford said...

Not something I say often, but, sorry about your butt. I hope CB took my never see CB again..

Denver Refashionista said...

Oh, I hate it when that happens. I rode a bike for the first time since I was diagnosed with MS just the other day and I almost killed myself going off a curb. I really doubt my balance now and at first I was afraid of riding but now I think I have the hang of it again.


I've seen those new fangled things...I'm pretty much a commitment phobe, so the thought of committing my feet to a stirrup on a bike is too much for me...I'm one of those riders who still needs a big, red bulbus horn to honk!

Sorry about your butt...may it heal as quickly as your pride.

Linda D. in Seattle

Shauna said...

I'm sure Ed will give her a quarter or two to play....

The trick is to not think about it, just do it.

The clip in pedals are actually easier to get out of than the "stirrup" or toe cage. My big red bulbous horn broke just before the bike tour. Have to replace it.


Robin said...

I think you should try to fix a little mini video camera to the top of your helmet. You never know when you might have another YouTube worthy moment!


Shauna said...

actually, that's a good idea....I may work at getting one for training and the bike tour next year.....a friend in New Brunswick has one and I've seen a little of the footage he took on one ride. It's a little bumpy and has a kind of "Blair Witch Project" feel.